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This post was inspired because I happened on this photo and thought, “This can’t be a real cloud.  Must be a photoshopped flying saucer.”

Turns out this is a lenticular cloud and for people who live around certain mountains  it’s relatively rare but not as surprising as it was to me.

Mt. Rainier, Washington, By Tim Thompson

My policy on this site is not to say anything I can’t understand myself.  So after reading about 15 sites explaining how this cloud is formed, I still can’t say I understand.  I do know these clouds look like they are stationary over the mountain.  Actually they are air currents, which usually run horizontally, going vertically over a mountain and creating a pattern on the down-wind side that oscillates and  forms clouds, then evaporates, then forms, in a wave pattern….or something.   http://www.collthings.co.uk/2008/06/10-very-rare-clouds.html gives the best explanation of all kinds of clouds along with photos.

Photo by Cindy Diaz

Next are Mammatus clouds.

Below are fallstreak clouds.

Photo by Tyla Healton

Guess what.  It’s a wave cloud.  Over Mt. Shasta, California

Photo by Beverly Shannon

Photo by Clare Lewis

Also known as a kelvin-helmholtz wave cloud.

These roll clouds look ominous.

Photo by Rob Sharrock

Above, a cousin of the roll cloud, a shelf cloud.

This is a super cell cloud.  Yes, indeed.

More mean-looking storm clouds.

Friendlier weather.

Can’t talk about weather without lightening.

Photo by Igor Kovalenko

Lady Liberty takes a hit.

Photo by: Malcolm

And a combo of our previous and next weather topic:

Now hurricanes

Hurricane Hugo, 1989–notice Florida

Hurricane Wilma, 2005, from higher satellite.  Notice, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico.

After tornadoes and hurricanes, ice storms don’t seem so bad–but this was a bad one.

More ice than this tree could handle.

Photo by Marc F. Henning

For more weird weather go here.

Thanks to the sites below for several images and explanations.  Each offers many additional weather photos.

http://weatherpix.com/images.htm

http://cloudappreciationsociety.org/gallery/

http://www.collthings.co.uk/2008/06/10-very-rare-clouds.html

As always, when I could find a photo credit, I put it in with a link to the site.

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28 thoughts on “Weird Weather

  1. Wow! Incredible clouds. I used to live in Seattle, but I never saw anything remotely similar to the ‘spaceship’ cloud in the photo. Have these clouds in the photos long been familiar to meteorologists? Or are any of them something relatively new, resulting from the increasing number of ‘freak’ weather incidents we’re now seeing across the globe as a result of climate change?

  2. April,
    I’m pretty sure the space-ship looking lenticular clouds have been around always. They are rare because it takes a certain kind of land formation (mostly mountains but sometimes other places–from the best photos it seems mountains that are fairly set apart as opposed to part of a range), plus certain altitude, wind and temperature conditions. I hope you’ll link to one of the sites and see if you can understand the explanation of how they are formed. Let me know if you can translate it to language more accessible.

  3. Amazing cloud formation! I have never seen such lightening ,wish there was audio along with these photographs of lightening.
    Tornadoes, hail storms are rare in these parts where I live. But must be scary and shows how helpless the man is when confronted with raw fury of the nature.
    Hats off to the photographers who took such photographs of the lightening,i like the one that struck the statue of liberty . Of course each one of them is special.
    thanks.

  4. Facinating, no other word for it except wish I was there in person! Thannks Dusky! Tim

  5. Ah, Dusky, you’re so dedicated. Wish you could get paid for beautiful, interesting things you share. My mind is always saying, “ooooooooooo,” “Who’d have thought?” and “so gorgeous!”
    Thanks, lady.

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